Tropar - Tone 4
With thy virtues, as with the rays of the sun, thou didst enlighten the unbelieving philosophers; and like the most radiant moon shining on those who walk at night, thou didst drive away the darkness of unbelief. Thou didst bring the empress to faith and didst denounce the tyrant, O divinely elect bride. O blessed Catherine, with desire thou didst make haste to the heavenly bridal chamber, to Christ the most comely Bridegroom, and by Him has thou been crowned with a royal crown. Standing with the angels before Him, do thou pray for us who keep thy most honored memory.
Kondak - Tone 2
O ye who love the martyrs, raise up an honored chorus in godly manner; honoring the most wise Catherine; for in the arena she preached Christ and trod upon the serpent, putting down the knowledge of the rhetors.
Divine Liturgy in English every Saturday at 9am.
Bible Study after Liturgy.
St Andrew Russian Orthodox Church
6465 54th Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33709
His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York
Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan
Christ is in our midst!
We have come to the end of the fifth and second most intense week of the fast. This weekend we have a bit of a spiritual oasis in the midst of this lenten desert. First, we sing the Akathist to our Lady the Theotokos. I think we do this for several reasons: 1. We usually celebrate major feasts of the Church for at least 7 days. Since the feast of the Annunciation falls during the great fast it is celebrated only one day so in a sense the feast is continued when we chant the Akathist Hymn; 2. Our Lady is a good Mother, not only to her Son and our God, but to all of us. Thus she comforts and refreshes us so that we may continue and complete the course of our lenten struggle; 3. That as we prepare to celebrate our Lord’s Passion, we remember that it is from our Lady that the fleshless became flesh, dwelt among and died for us sinners. She was one of the few who did not abandon Him when He was betrayed and wept at the foot of His Cross; 4. That we may also participate in the indescribable joy which she felt at the Resurrection of her Son.
That is Saturday. Sunday is St. Mary of Egypt, one of the most beloved saints of the Church.
Why is she so beloved? Because she was so wretched and yet became a saint. If you want to see what sin does to a person, how it engulfs a person, conquers a person, prevents a person from worshiping and serving the living God - just look at Mary. If you want to behold the power of repentance, how it transforms the most vile wretch into a vessel of the grace Holy Spirit - a true saint of God - just look at Mary. The life of St. Mary of Egypt is a life of beauty and of hope. Beauty because every soul cleansed through repentance, prayer and fasting is beautiful regardless of how horrid it may have been, and hope because if Mary can repent, anyone can repent regardless of how low he has fallen. This means regardless of how wretched I may be, I know that God loves me, and that, if I truly repent, I too may be deemed worthy to be glorified by Him in His Kingdom.
We can talk more about Mary on Saturday.
Please keep me, Fr. Igor, one another, St. Catherine’s and St. Andrew’s in your prayers. Pray also for those who are looking for the Truth, for the fullness of the faith, who need God’s love and comfort - and may we be prepared to provide it as we are able.
Friday, April 16 - Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am. Second Vigil. The Akathist Hymn at 5pm.
Saturday, April 17 - The Saturday of the Akathist. Divine Liturgy in English at 9am. Bible Study. Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday, April 18 - The Sunday of St Mary of Egypt. Divine Liturgy at 10am.
Wednesday, April 21 - Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am.
Friday, April 23 - Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am. Holy Unction at 5pm.
Saturday, April 24 - Lazarus Saturday. Divine Liturgy in English at 9am. Bible Study. Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday, April 25 - Palm Sunday. Divine Liturgy at 10am.
Monday, April 26 - Great and Holy Monday. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am.
Tuesday, April 27 - Great and Holy Tuesday. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am.
Wednesday, April 28 - Great and Holy Wednesday. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am.
Thursday, April 29 - Great and Holy Thursday. Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil the Great at 8am. Matins of Great Friday. The Reading of the 12 Passion Gospels at 630 pm.
Friday, April 30 - Great and Holy Friday. The Royal Hours at 8am. Vespers (the winding sheet is brought out for veneration) at 4pm. Matins of Great Saturday, the Lamentations, at 5pm.
Saturday, May 1 - Great and Holy Saturday. Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil the Great at 9am. Midnight service at 1130pm
Sunday, May 2 - Holy Pascha - The Resurrection of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Resurrectional Procession, Paschal Matins and Liturgy at 12am. Second Paschal Liturgy in English at 9am. Paschal Vespers at 5pm.
Reminder: We are concelebrating with Fr. Igor and the faithful of St. Andrew's Russian Orthodox Church, - 6465 54th Ave. N., - St. Petersburg, whose gracious hospitality is ever appreciated.
If you live in the greater Tampa Bay area and are interested in Orthodoxy or would like to help in establishing a traditional Orthodox parish in English
please call 727-239-9186 and leave a message or e-mail me at email@example.com.
I'd love to hear from you!
Fr. Stephen Zaremba
Most of those who come on Saturday morning also come on Sunday, while others attend other Orthodox parishes on Sundays. Some have relocated from other states and are looking for a spiritual home. We have baptized a few adults after a period of preparation, and have also baptized children born into Orthodox Christian families. Truly God is good to us!
Thanks be to God our community is slowly growing. Since our ways are not God’s ways we are traversing an unexpected path, currently serving at St. Andrew’s Russian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg. It is proving quite beneficial for both our St. Catherine’s Mission and the St. Andrew’s parish. God’s providence is truly remarkable.
First a quick word about St. Andrew’s. It is a Russian speaking community. The church is beautiful, the choir is excellent, the services served properly. While most of the vigil and Sunday Divine Liturgy are celebrated in Church Slavonic, English is used based on attendance. The Epistle and Gospel are always read in English and there is sermon in English. If you are familiar with the Divine Liturgy you will feel very comfortable. Fr. Igor and the parishioners of St. Andrew’s have made us feel quite welcome indeed.
On Saturdays we celebrate the Divine Liturgy in English, followed by a Bible Study. This started off as quite a small group but it has been growing so that we usually have about 20 or more stay for our class. Not bad for a Saturday morning!
We are a mission. Our purpose is to make traditional, apostolic Christianity, today known as Orthodoxy, available to those who are seeking it. Many are seeking it not quite knowing what it is. If you are looking for God - look here. If you are looking for stability, where doctrines do not change with the blowing of the wind - look here. If you want to truly learn how to worship in the spirit and truth as taught by the holy Apostles - look here. If you are are not sure just what it is that you are looking for - look here. We don’t make things up as we go and we don’t change with the times. Truth is truth. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The world is going through a time of considerable turmoil. No one knows what the future holds. The Orthodox Christian Faith has withstood the bloody persecutions of ancient Rome, the tribulation of the Arian, Iconoclastic and other heresies, the onslaught of the Persians and Moslems, Communism and everything else that the Adversary has thrown at us through the centuries. But as our Lord promised, the gates of hell have not prevailed. Regardless of what the future may hold, the Orthodox Faith will remain like bedrock unto the Lord returns.
Now some may think that Orthodox Christianity is similar to Roman Catholicism. While there may be some external similarities, Roman Catholics and Protestants, with their now 30,000 denominations, are far closer to one another than they are to the Orthodox. While this may seem very wrong, Protestantism is a reaction to Roman Catholicism and as such, while they certainly have different beliefs and solutions, they have the same mindset.
Orthodoxy is quite different as it has resisted the temptation to be altered by the philosophy of the day through the centuries. Orthodoxy is what is and has been believed by everyone everywhere from the beginning. No change. No compromise. It is manly - men love it. It is not a soft faith. It challenges each believer. And no, it is not too much for women and children. Orthodoxy is beautiful, full of joy and light, gentleness and compassion.
If you are in the area, we would love to meet you. You can contact me at or call or text to 727-239-9186.
The following was a letter to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (d.138AD) from the Athenian Orator Aristides in which he depicts how the Early Christians lived. This is how Christianity conquered the world. This is how it will do so again...
“The Christians know and trust God…They placate those who oppress them and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies. Their wives are absolutely pure, and their daughters modest. Their men abstain from unlawful marriage and are free from all impurity: If any of them have bondwomen or children, they persuade them to become Christians for the love they have toward them; and when they become so, they call them without distinction brothers…They love one another: They do not refuse to help the widows. They rescue the orphan from him who does him violence. He who has, gives ungrudgingly to him who has not. If they see a stranger; they take him to their dwellings and rejoice over him as over a real brother; for they do not call themselves brothers after the flesh, but after the Spirit and in God…If any one among them is poor and needy; and they do not have food to spare, they fast for two or three days, that they may supply him with necessary food. They scrupulously obey the commands of their Messiah. Every morning and every hour they thank and praise God for His loving-kindness toward them…Because of them there flows forth all the beauty that there is in the world. But the good deeds they do, they do not proclaim in the ears of the multitude, but they take care that no one shall perceive them. Thus they labor to become righteous…Truly, this is a new people and there is something divine in them.”